Cryptocurrency launch aimed at local enterprises

Economy April 20, 2018 01:00

By The Nation

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THE E-Commerce for Tourism Business Association (ETA) has teamed up with Decentralised Exchange (DEX) to launch a cryptocurrency intended to serve the needs of community enterprises and other small traders with shops.

The backers of the digital currency, called ETA Coin, say it will be the first in Thailand focused on expanding the funding sources for local-level enterprises.

ETA president president Satapol Channarong said that, with the initial capitalisation set at Bt500 million by the middle of this year, the ETA Coin initiative would help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and community enterprises to gain access to new sources of funding for their business operations, especially for expansion plans.

The association recently bought ETA Coins through an initial coin offering (ICO) for its members. Under a project known as ICO BC Warehouse, investors will gain ownership rights to income from planned ICOs.

An ICO involves an enterprise raising funds by offering investors tokens in return for their cash or other kinds of cryptocurrency.

Satapol said that about 5,000 shops are expected to join the ETA Coin initiative over the next year. By doing so, they will gain connections with investors in member countries of the Asean Economic Community (AEC), such as Malaysia and Cambodia, as a means of spurring the global use of ETA Coin and supporting the tourism industry.

In less than a month, the price of ETA Coin has soared by 20 times from 0.001 coin per US dollar to 0.21 coin, Satapol said.

Holders of ETA Coins can exchange the coins through a trading website or the digital wallet of Waves' Decentralised Exchange and other exchanges dealing in digital currencies, Satapol said.

Authorised shops can accept payment by ETA Coin. Other interested shops or non-profit organisations with an operating record of at least one year and a solid foundation in technology, as well as solid accounting procedures and income, can contact ETA for inspection and authorisation.

Any proposed state regulations for digital currencies would bring clarity, rather than limitations, and the association is ready to act if such regulations are issued, Satapol said.

The ETA is teaming up with the public and private sectors to hold Thailand's first digital currency event, Crypto Expo Thailand 2018, in Bangkok on April 30.